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ND considers new policy to control former administrator salaries

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota University System is considering changing a policy to regulate the salary of tenured faculty who become administrators and then return to the faculty. The change, which was given a first reading at the board's meeting...

"Mark Hagerott, new chancellor of the North Dakota University System, seen April 30, 2015. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune"
Mark Hagerott, new chancellor of the North Dakota University System. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK - The North Dakota University System is considering changing a policy to regulate the salary of tenured faculty who become administrators and then return to the faculty.

The change, which was given a first reading at the board's meeting Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Bismarck, would require an administrator who returns to the faculty be placed at a salary proportional to that of a similarly ranked employee.

The policy is being considered because there is concern some administrators are returning to faculty status but retaining their administrative salaries.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said the change is being made, in part, because many academic departments are running on tight budgets due to the state's mandated cuts.

At times, Hagerott said, administrators who return to faculty positions could earn twice as much as a similar faculty member. That has made it difficult for department chairs to make hiring decisions because of the increased salary.

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The first reading was approved unanimously by the board Wednesday after previously being approved by the Academic Affairs Council and President's Cabinet.

"It has been an issue at some of the universities, not only among the administrators during a time of cutbacks, but it also doesn't seem quite fair to some of the faculty members when they are brought back to the faculty with a considerably higher salary," said SBHE board member Kevin Melicher.

The new policy also recommends schools include the return-to-faculty salary in a contract before the person moves into an administrative position. The schools are not required to do so, however, in order to give each campus flexibility in handling the issue.

If an administrator returns to the faculty, their salary will reflect normal growth in his or her salary if they had chosen to be a faculty member for that entire time.

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